With Lore Master coming out and soon to be available for pre-order, we thought it prudent to ask Robbie some questions about his first book in the series, Reaping the Harvest. For those who may not be familiar with the series (and how dare you if you’re not), the Warrior of the Way series centers around Rhychard Bartlett after he becomes drafted in a battle between the Way and the Void being waged by the realms of faerie. On his way home from work one night, Rhychard comes across a dying elf in the final moments of a battle with gargoyles. Before the elf, Jamairlo, breathes his last breath, he hands Rhychard the Guardian Sword, which then thrusts our hero unknowingly in a fight he knew nothing about and which he would rather stay ignorant. From the moment Rhychard’s hand touches the sword, his life is forever changed. He loses work, his fiancé, and countless hours of sleep. He does, however, get to meet some pretty funny characters.
There’s still plenty of time for you to get your copy of Reaping the Harvest and get caught up before the release of Lore Master. However, for now, let’s ask Robbie some questions and see where his mind went during the writing of the story.
1. We all need a hero! Tell us a little about your protagonist. Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
Reaping the Harvest actually started out as a short story on a day I was feeling a little angry about something that was going on in my life. I can’t even remember what it was exactly, but I knew it had to do with the church. I also remember I wanted to slay someone. Thus, Rhychard was born. I guess you could say his motivations were drawn from some of my angst at the time, the inner turmoil of my battle against religion. Now, I don’t see me as Rhychard or vice versa, but I can relate to some of his frustrations.
2. A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain to write this book? Was there a real-life inspiration for the bad guy?
Vargas, our demon, was just a concoction of what I thought a deadly, but funny demon would be like, power hungry and dripping saliva. Pastor Adrian Michaels on the other hand, now he was a compilation of all of the corrupt ministers I have encountered throughout my life, that slick snake-oil salesman that oozes charisma while doing the dirty deeds behind closed doors. I pulled from those and made Adrian, and I think he came out pretty well.
3. Did you learn anything from writing this book?
I learn something with every book I write. While I start out with a premise or where I wish to go in the story, the characters don’t always allow that to happen. I learn thing about them and their tale, as well as about what might be going through my subconscious at the time. Each character has something to teach me.
4. Was it hard to write the ending, what made you end it the way you did, and did you have an alternate ending in mind?
Without giving too much away, yes, the ending was very hard to write and was not the way I had pictured the story going. It actually only came out at the very end and in revisions. I think I even cried as I was writing it. However, it seemed the only way it could end once it was written. Anything else would have been forced. On a side note, that does leave some fun things open for Lore Master.
5. Tryna is a comical ellyll that teaches Rhychard while trying to safeguard him all at the same time. Did you have someone in mind when you wrote her?
I’m laughing as I picture her right now. While Tryna’s looks are very much that of a three-year-old, her character is based off Linda Hunt from NCIS: Los Angeles. I love her character, Henrietta Lange. Her quirks, her snappy comebacks, her see-all wisdom. I wanted that for Tryna.
6. Tryna pops out and vanishes quite a bit with a jingle of bells. Where does she go when she does that?
You know, I don’t know. I wish I did. I’m going to have to ask her that next time I see her.
7. What was your inspiration for Kree and why mind-speech as a way of communicating?
I love animals and especially unique animals. As I was researching faerie creatures I came across the coshey (although I think the book I was reading spelled it differently). A giant dog, shaped like a bear and moves like a lion—who can’t love that! I added the pizza loving part, though, and the mind-speech. Mind-speech just seemed more magical and less of a hassle trying to make an animal speak. At the time, I went with simple.
8. Why did you make Buttercup a street hooker and will we see her again?
Part of the premise behind Reaping the Harvest was to show that not everything is as we see it; that it’s not all black and white. What better way to do that than with a hooker? Most people would condemn her for what she’s doing, but as Kree tells Rhychard in the story, it’s really the motive behind something that makes it evil or good. That was also why the pastor became the villain in the story. What people are used to is not always how things are in life, especially behind the scenes. And yes, Buttercup is here to stay.
9. Why did you make the relationship between Renny and Rhychard go south?
The circumstances called for it. Here is Renny’s boyfriend, disappearing at all hours and he can’t tell her what’s going on because the faerie world says it’s too dangerous. So, after a while, she finally says enough. I think it followed the natural course of any relationship with that much secretiveness about it. Trust only goes so far and when things don’t add up, Renny decided she was tired of trying to do the math.
10. Is Reaping the Harvest a religious based story? Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Religious based? No. Some may see it that way, of course, but if the reader pays attention, I pretty much come out against what is thought of as religion today. Now, spiritual based, that’s a whole other question. It’s a battle between good and evil, represented in the Seelie and the Unseelie, the Way and the Void. Yet, it’s not about actions, but rather motives. I think religion today has gotten away from that. Follow this list of rules. Give this amount of money. Show up in your pew every day. Yet, people can do all of these things and not be in the right frame of heart. That’s the message. What you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as why you do it. It’s what’s in the heart.
Did those answers spark your curiosity for Reaping the Harvest? We hope so. We also hope you’ll pick up your copy at your favorite distributor and check it out before Lore Master releases. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see what happens next.
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Did you have a question that didn’t get asked about Robbie’s book? Feel free to ask it in the comments below and he’ll pop back by and try and answer it.
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Until next time, keep chasing your fantasies!